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In the Arena

News/Business. (2011)

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Pakistan 12, Us 10, Washington 9, Boehner 9, Sarah Palin 8, Afghanistan 7, U.s. 5, Advair 4, Assad 4, China 4, Alaska 4, James Carville 4, India 4, David Gergen 3, Gordon Brown 3, Rupert Murdoch 3, Syria 3, America 3, Murdoch 3, Britain 3,
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  CNN    In the Arena    News/Business.  (2011)  

    July 11, 2011
    5:00 - 6:00pm PDT  

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be starkly unconventional. this in fact might be precisely what it looks like. >> peter, shana, we will await the governor's decision. that's all for us tonight. hope to see you tomorrow night. "in the arena" starts right now. >> good evening, welcome to the program. we begin with the debt negotiations and the increasing pressure for both sides to find common ground. lines are being drawn even deeper. both sides are finger pointing. the bottom line for us is talks are going nowhere and fast.
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after yet another round, the pre and republicans announced the ball barely nudged forward. the republicans are warning speaker boehner not to blink and accept any tax increases. democrats are telling president obama he must close the so-called tax loopholes. both sides seem to be far apart on any agreement. the only thing they do agree on is that they are the only ones already sacrificing enough. take a listen to the duelling press conferences earlier today. >> i have bent over backwards to work with the republicans, to try to come up with a formulation that doesn't require some type of increase in taxes. >> i want to get there. i want to do what i think is in the best interests of the country. but it takes two to tango and they're not there yet. >> we're going to have more on the dangerous game being played in washington. here are the other stories we're digging into tonight.
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the scandal that won't go away. in britain, new allegations against rupert murdoch's news corp. is the sun about to set on his empire? is she after the white house? i'll talk to the man who wrote the book on sarah palin. he said if she decides to run, she'll win. then pulling the plug on pakistan. we're holding back hundreds of millions of dollars in aid. will that make them a better ally or push them into the arms of our enemy? joining me now from capitol hill to discuss the top story we've been talking about, is cnn congressional correspondent kate bolduan. have they had any breakthrough in the negotiations? they just talk, talk, talk. >> i often feel like i'm
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repeating myself. we have to tell you, there's no breakthroughs to report this evening. the meeting at the white house lasted about an hour and 45 minutes. i'm told from congressional sources that the focus was largely on the framework that had kind of been identified and come to pass in the biden talks. these are talks that were bipartisan talks that lasted for weeks and fell apart. republicans saying that there was an impasse having to do with taxes, in that package of savings, if you will, that was identified. it was largely had to do with spending cuts. republicans, by their math, said they had come to about $2 trillion plus in savings, but the president disputed their math saying according to his math it was more in the area of 1.7 trillion to 1.8 million in savings which is far from the 2.4 they are targeting for. that's where they left it, where they stand on this particular
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talk. while those talks were bipartisan, the biden talks, they were not agreed to at this point. the president said go back to your caucuses, go back and talk to them see where they stand. really, if we had to break it down, the impasse comes down to a simple thing. i know you know it. it comes down to democrats say if they're going to accept the spending cuts, they have to have revenue with it, the shared sacrifice they keep talking about. of course they say no major cuts to medicare benefits. on the flip side, the republicans are remaining firm and more dug into today. the people i talked to are saying now is not the right time to be raising taxes on anyone as the economy continues to be flounds floundering. >> here's what i'm hearing. it's what concerns me the most. i've heard when you get the president and speaker boehner in the room together and chat, they
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can come up with a basic understanding, but as soon as they bring in the rest of the folks and they realize the president has to sell to his wing and boehner has to sell to his, they can't get them in, because they get the ultimatums, and without people backing off the ultimatums, there's no way to get to the center. that's the concern a lot of people have. the reason why they never seem to advance these talks. >> that is a valid concern, because as we're hearing, bottom line, no debt deal can pass without both republican and democratic votes. that's why there's such an impasse here. while we did hear again today coming from the president that they did have good faith efforts and he complimented speaker boehner. the rank and file are making their voices known. we heard from more people today
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on the republican side, tax increases are a no go. they can't support it. democrats remaining firm in their own right saying any cut to medicare benefits they cannot support. these are philosophical differences that remain between the groups. i'm starting to hear more and more anger, if you will, from some members that this negotiation, this deal like other deals in the past is being negotiated behind closed doors. people frustrated this isn't being debated in the open because they know they're going to be asked to vote for something that can be a tough vote and could come back to haunt them. >> absolutely, especially with the election season right around the corner. >> that's where people have to keep their eye. election right around the corner. >> that really is it. they may have great intentions but they realize there's the reality of getting re-elected. my guest tonight is a senator from wisconsin, and unlike most, he's not a career politician.
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as a kid, he worked as a fry cook. he started a business, one that actually hired people. this is a guy who had to balance budgets. he says washington should operate more like a business. senator ron johnson, welcome. >> thanks for having me on. >> first off, i look at this like a lot of americans, i got to go home, if i don't pay the phone bill, the phone gets cut off. if you don't pay the electricity, the lights don't go on. how come washington seems to think they can stop paying any kind of bill or not have enough money to pay it and keep on spending? >> because there's never been any limits here in washington, which is why we're facing a debt that's almost equal to the size of our economy, $14.3 trillion. my objection to this process being conducted behind closed doors isn't about the election. it's just not a way to conduct business here. the fact of the matter is, we're talking about a $3.7 trillion a year budget. that's not something that should
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be conducted -- decided on in the course of a couple meetings between a few people. this is something that should have been worked on for months in detail, fully vetted through the committee process. it should have gone through the regular order, a process where the american people can see what's happening. >> they haven't done that. you and i talked about this last week. you said to me this is absolutely shameful that they are doing it this way. this is washington. this is the pig we're stuck with right now. you've come up with an idea. you've got a plan to keep the sky from falling in. you call it your debt ceiling budget. how does that work? >> it's really not a plan in terms of actually trying to live under it. all i was trying to point out is the administration is incredibly irresponsible trying to scare the american people, trying to scare the markets. i was trying to point out that it wouldn't have to be a crisis if they weren't scare mongering, it wouldn't be a crisis if you planned on living within your means until you actually
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structurely fixed our budget. this business is bankrupting america. we've got to stop conducting business as usual. we have to start living within our means. there's a simple solution. the house is working on it right now. it's called cut, cap and balance. you cut a little spending off next year's budget. you pass a law that puts caps toward establishing a balanced budget and you increase the debt ceiling but it's contingent on sending a constitutional amendment to the states, to the american people to balance our budget. let's let the american people decide if we want this fiscal discipline. i think the american people would decide to put discipline here in washington. >> i'm with you, because i like fiscal discipline. i like people spending only as much as they can afford to. however, i also recognize that we're in a very difficult situation right now. some folks would say, look, the concept is great. however, at this point when we're trying to create jobs,
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when we're trying to figure out how to get ourselves out of this economic nightmare, we can't afford to have all those cuts right now, especially in programs. more people are dependent on them. how do you respond to that? >> first of all, what people are talking about, even the paul ryan bugtd cuts $89 billion in the first year. the toomey budget cuts 2% off the budget. if you ask a department head to cut 2% off the budget, they wouldn't break a sweat. when you hear about the huge cuts, we're talking about reducing the rate of growth and spending. the president's budget goes from $3.7 trillion to $5 trillion to our debt in ten years. the ryan budget goes from 3.5 trillion up to 4.7. you are still increasing spending. you are just doing it at a slower rate. >> what you're presenting there sounding reasonable.
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if it is so reasonable as you make it appear, why haven't they agreed on anything? >> it is reasonable. they haven't agreed on anything because it's business as usual in washington. the democrats want to defend all of their spending. they like the fact that the federal government right now spending 25 cents of every dollar of our economy. they want to defend that. what we're saying is let's cap spending over a long period of time. nobody is talking about cutting off the government and going to a balanced budget immediately, but over a glide path, let's say ten years, bring spending down to our long term revenue generation percentage of 18 to 19%. that's how you create a balanced budget. that's how you live within your means. that's the type of spending discipline i was sentsz here to enforce on washington. i believe the american people would support that. all we're saying is, mr. president, we'll increase your debt ceiling, just work with us to pass a constitutional amendment to the states and let the people decide.
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that's reasonable. that can be done quickly. we wouldn't have to worry about talking about a crisis. >> senator johnson, thank you very much. we're going to get on the frequent speaking program. we've been talking about this budget so much. i like talking to you. i hope this gets done soon though. >> so do i. we're going to continue discussing the stalemate with two two guys, james carville, david gergen. they'll join us later on. when you thought the phone hacking scandal in great britain couldn't get weirder, there are shocking new allegations. who's been compromised? >> there could be as many as 4,000 people whose phone messages have been listened to. who's been compromised and how that threatens one of the world's great media giants? that when we come back. cinnamon toast crunch, with a delicious cinnamon and sugar taste that's amazing. crave those crazy squares.
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media mogul rupert murdoch shut down the prize of the world tabloid. gordon brown accused two other murdoch publications of illegal acts. with its bid for a satellite company at stake, could the biggest victim of this scandal turn out to be murdoch himself? becky, every day we seem to get a little more and it seemed as if rupert murdoch had stemmed the tide by announcing he was shuttering news of the world. today, even more. what's happened? >> it's quite remarkable. if he thought he could fly into the u.k. at the weekend, draw a line on this whole saga by closing down britain's biggest selling sunday tabloid, he was wrong. this is a powerful man. if you blink today, you missed part of this story as things
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grew and grew. what we learned today is that gordon brown, the former prime minister, believes that his phone was hacked by journalists at the news of the world and indeed that journalists at other papers within the news international camp, as it were in the "news of the world" was part of a number of newspapers that they own. journalists from other newspapers tried to block information from his accountants and bank and his lawyers. perhaps the worst of this is that journalists, one of these newspapers tried to access information about one of his children, and they only know this because at some point, over the past few years, he was wronged by one of the newspapers to say we believe your child has cystic fibrosis, a really appalling turn of events for prime minister gordon brown and for news international.
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this has extended outside of the british tabloid newspaper now that we closed out the weekend. now we're talking about news international. >> the wave that the business operates over there seems to be very different than the way things operate here. there was a sense that some of this, not all, but some of this had been going on. were the authorities aware of this? did they sort of turn a blind eye until it passed that line and it went from scandalous to unacceptable? >> let's think about that for a moment. this saga has been going on and we've known about it as certain members of the general public for six or seven years. it really hit the headlines when we found out that prince william and harry's phones had been hacked by a private investigator and a royal correspondent at the news of the world. they were later imprisoned for that. then it sort of rumbled on a little bit. while it was simply, i say simply, the royal family and
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celebrities, the likes of cena miller or hugh grant, people didn't mind so much. it was when we found out just a week or so ago that the news of the world had hacked into the phone of a child who had disappeared, who eventually turns out was murdered, they hacked into her phone and she deleted messages from her voice mail in order to hope they would get more information and her parents were left to believe that she was still alive for a period of time. that's when things got nasty. then we find out there are allegations that family members of those who have died in afghanistan and in iraq, their phones may have been hacked. then we find out that the phones of those widowed in 9/11, for example, their phones may have been interfered with. that's when it went from sort of acceptable to this is now an appalling, and as james murdoch said the other day, inhuman turn
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of events. >> what about the people who allegedly did this hacking? do we know exactly who they are at this point? do we know how many of them there are? >> well, this is the point. we don't know how many of them there were. news international, the news the world, for a long period of time, said that there were just a rogue reporter involved in this. the rogue reporter went to prison as did glen vulcary, who was the private investigator. now it comes to light there could be as many as 4,000 people whose phone messages have been listened to, by -- let me tell you, we don't know about the numbers but many, many journalists, not just at the news of the world but possibly across the entire camp. >> this story not over yet. becky anderson, thank you very much. coming up, the debt battle rages on. the president today threatening to veto anything less than a
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historic budget deal. as the talks stall, can we hope at all for any kind of real compromise? david gergen and james carville join us next. [ male announcer ] this...is the network -- a network of possibilities. in here, the planned combination of at&t and t-mobile would deliver our next generation mobile broadband experience to 55 million more americans, many in small towns and rural communities, giving them a new choice. we'll deliver better service,
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welcome back. we are going back to our top story tonight. it's the stalled debt ceiling negotiations. the president drew a line in the sand ruling out any short term debt ceiling hike. >> i will not sign a 30 day or 60 day or 90 day extension. that is just not an acceptable approach. if we think it's going to be hard -- if we think it's hard now, imagine how these guys are going to be thinking six months from now in the middle of election section when they're all up. it's not going to get easier.
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it's going to get harder. so we might as well do it now. pull off the band-aid. eat our peas. now's the time to do it. if not now, when? >> i don't think the republicans have an appetite for eating peas right now. they drew their own line in the sand saying they're not going to support any deficit plan that supports tax hikes. we have two lines in the sand, miles apart and we're less than two weeks away from the deadline. joining me now are david gergen and james carville. thank you both for being with me. david, let me start with you. do you think they've kind of painted themselves, the leadership into these corners, that they're having a tough time coming out from? >> i do. i think that the republicans have painted themselves in a corner some time ago by refusing to do anything on taxes, raise
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taxes at all. the democrats have pointed themselves in a corner not taking a deal that doesn't raise taxes. the president did it by saying he won't take an interim deal. i want a big deal. i think there's a good chance they're going to have a train wreck. i am in favor of what simpson-bowles came out with, which is a plan that had $2 of spending cuts for every 1 there are increase. it could have gotten bipartisan support. we are what we are now. the parties are stuck. i do not think they can get the big mega deal the president is talking about. i think they are going to have a hard time getting a mid sized deal. i think they can come up with a short term, interim package in which it requires some compromise by democrats and republicans. but the president has to compromise too. if the choice is between a default and a short term deal, there's no question he ought to
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go for the short term deal. >> i'm not sure these guys can figure out how to pay a parking ticket. james, you are the brilliant strategist here. one of my concerns out, and you tell me if i'm crazy. it seems to me like both sides are banking on winning, that they're going to be able to prove to everybody that they really were willing to do something and it was the other side that kept it from going forward, that they're going to win with their base. >> as far as david and senator simpson did a good job. they were calling for one-third in tax increases. what the republicans turned out and the president was talking about something between 20 and 25%. they couldn't even get that through. that's much less than whatte
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erskin was calling for. we need to do that to get somebody's attention. remember, in the bank bailout, the first day it failed. the stock market went down 770 points. it might take that kind of shock to do that. if you listen to republican rhetoric, they're saying we are completely willing to let this thing shut down. i don't think it's a very good idea, but we'll see in time. i think the public is getting the signal here, i think. >> you really seem speechless. the prospect of that happening, does sort of have you in a pickle there. >> when james carville is speechless, we really are in a pickle. >> david, when we look at polls, frankly i hate polls, this keeps on coming out the same. when you talk to folks, they don't want to raise the debt
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krael ceiling. >> one of the great disappointments is our political leaders have done a lousy job of preparing the public for hard choices. one of the choices is raising the debt ceiling. when ronald reagan was president as a conservative and we were approaching a deadline on the debt ceiling, he urged that the debt ceiling be lifted. you have to do that to pay your bills. here we are on the 11th hour, in effect, in this fight, and the public is still where it is. is it failure of leadership on the people in washington to prepare the people for what must be done. >> james, do you think -- again, if you were advising the guys on both sides, would you tell them you've done a lousy job selling this and how would you tell them to fix that now, when they really need to convince the base and their wings that there are deals that have to be cut, and that means compromise? >> again, i think the president was willing, according to the
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news accounts and boehner, i don't think it's been much in dispute. he was willing to go for 4 trillion, was willing to go to the democrats with substantial things, raising the age for eligibility for medicare. >> yeah, i saw that. the problem he runs into and so does boehner is you've got the wings in the party saying -- >> no, they don't have a conservative right wing. that's the whole point. in other words, there's 239 signed the same thing. that's not a wing. that's the entire party. we're talking about 10 democrats as opposed to the entire republican congressional caucus. that's quite a difference. >> let me say one thing on behalf of the republicans. i think it needs to be said. those 230 all won elections by promising not to raise taxes. when republicans took over the
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house, they understood and they had promised people we will not raise your taxes. if we've got problems, we have to reduce spending. that voice is loud and clear in the countryside. there is pressure on the democrats to do a lot more on the spending side than to do it on the tax side. at the end of the day, we have to do taxes too. >> they were doing it in 8020. the single most popular way to reduce the deficit is raise tax on the wealthy or cut tax exemptions. they weren't even talking about raising tax rates. >> $1 trillion out of the $4 trillion deal was supposed to come out of taxes. that's what they were talking about. >> that's 25%. >> it's 25%, but there's a piece of it coming out of interest rates. it's not coming out of spending. there's some savings in that spending. what the republicans feel with some justification, is they signed on to deals like this in the past, what happens, they get the spending cuts but never get
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the tax cuts. they never get their side of the bargain. they get spending increases. there's not a lost trust here, which is fundamental to what's going on right now. i come back to this. i think this is going to come down, at the end of the day, to getting a very small deal. if they can get the republicans and democrats to agree to that and say let's spend the next three or four months negotiating, we ought to do this. is it better to default? >> james, is it? >> obviously, again, the republicans say it doesn't matter if you default. >> that's not what the leadership is saying. that's not what boehner is saying. >> again, boehner wanted to make the deal with the president. it was his caucus that wouldn't let him do that. it was his caucus. it's not the right wing. it's the entire caucus. boehner wanted to do it. rank and file and republican opinion makers are saying it
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doesn't matter. >> james, thank you very much for joining us. david, thank you. >> thank you. >> we've got a lot to figure out. coming up, it's a source of irritation to many americans that we give pakistan billions of dollars in aid and we don't seem to get much in return. now, the president says the gravy train is stopping but could that do more harm than good? another good thing about geico is, they've got, like, real live people working there 24/7.
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well, a pretty gutsy move. memo to pakistan, we're cutting you off. the obama administration is freezing some $800 million in aid to pakistan. so what goodwill that do? tonight we have a rare opportunity to hear from two of the top experts on the region. former congresswoman jane harmon
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has served on all the major security committees on the house and has seen classified information. peter thompson, special envoy under the first president bush and worked with leaders in that region. he wrote this book called "the wars of afghanistan." i spoke with both of them earlier. jane, let me ask you about the report that five suspected militants were killed in what appears to be a u.s. drone attack in pakistan. do you think we're deciding to take on more of this responsibility ourselves? not trusting the pakistanis to take out the militants? >> president obama has been ratcheting up the drone attacks for a long time. they've increased gee metically on his watch, but it's also true that some pakistanis were killed by terror groups in a part of the country that hasn't seen violence today. either way you look at this, e.d., we're in a downward spiral in terms of our relationship
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with the pakistanis. i think this going public with the cut in the military aid package is an expression of frustration that the private efforts have not succeeded. i would like to suggest that we need a game changer here. the pakistanis have been worried about india for years. that drives their policy in afghanistan and even in pakistan. i think if we could ratchet up efforts to convene a regional conference, peace conference, including china, russia, india and then the countries in the ren region, including iran, we have a chance of changing the scene. the goal would be a healthy relationship with a country that holds 100 nuclear weapons and is a democratic ally of ours. >> the aid that the president has said he's going to suspend at this point is about a third of the aid they get.
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hundreds of millions of dollars. the question, i guess, we have, having been told for years it was important to give them this money because it gave us sway and kept other players from stepping in and filling that void. what happens now? couldn't china step in and say you know what, we're happy to give you that cash and sort of move us out? >> they could, although the technology we're supplying, china doesn't have some of it, but they certainly could supply enough of it, maybe lower grade, and work with pakistan to make up for the difference, but in fact, this step that was taken announced today about the holding back of assistance that has been unconditioned now for ten years, it should have been taken ten years ago. we always should have had some strings attached to our assistance, especially the military assistance and pulled those strings when the
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pakistanis did not cooperate in the counterterrorism and counterinsurgency areas they've pledged to do. they are to foster islamic terrorism, there are three groups which we include to be foreign terrorist organizations, fdos and those groups were founded by the pakistani military intelligence. those groups are cooperating to send jihadis into afghanistan, but the same camps train international terrorists who strike the united states and other countries around the world. >> admiral mullen was making harsh words about the pakistani military and their collusion with militants. jane, you made a statement in aspen recently. you said kind of the same thing that there should be non-negotiable demands attached
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to the aid we give them. what do you think is the most important thing they have to say they will do and can prove it for us to give them the money? >> i'm not disagreeing with the comments just made. i was one of the ringleaders for conditioning our economic aid, the package that congress voted on while i was there about a year ago. i wanted to condition it especially on nonproliferation. the conditions got dropped. we had some sort of more hoard tore language in the bill. what would i like to see? i would like to see them agree to crack down on terror groups which perhaps it's true they created but why did they create them? they created them as an insurance policy against india occupying afghanistan. those groups are hurting pakistanis. more muslims have been killed by al qaeda than westerners. today, five more people or so were killed in pakistan itself.
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i think those are conditions they actually should embrace, but i would still like to consider and urge this regional conference. i don't think we're going to work our way out of this by violence or certainly they're not going to. the way to work our way out of this is to talk to all the relevant parties and figure out a common set of interests and i think that common set of interests is for pakistan and india finally to have an agreement between them and understand each country won't agres on the other. >> let's go back to pakistan. peter, can you tell me, based on the moves you've seen. we assume this is a u.s. drone. we know the united states has said we're not giving you all the aid we initially promised. there will be strings attached. we went after bin laden without telling them. do you think the moves we're making now is going to improve the situation in any real way? >> i think they will.
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it's about time we got tougher with pakistan. our policy through a number of administrations, even before 9/11, has been basically caution and inaction. there are risks to getting tough with pakistan. they do have some cards they can play with china, with iran, they can ratchet up the insurgency within afghanistan. they of course, as has been mentioned possess nuclear arms. there's risks on the other side. as long as the pakistani military and isi continue their policy of fostering the islamist structure, and it's a successor to bin laden, al zawahiri. as long as the infrastructure is there, as long as the sanctuaries are churning out jihadists and going abroad to strike foreign targets in our
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homeland or elsewhere. >> i appreciate you showing your expertise. i really got the chance to read part of the book. "the wars of afghanistan." it is definitive work and fascinating to understand the region that is so critical to our national security. thank you very much to jane harmon, nine term congresswoman, how select intelligence committee and the ceo of the woodrow wilson international center for scholars. coming up, secretary clinton lashes out at syria after pro government forces mob the u.s. embassy. we're on the scene in damascus next.
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>> u.s. officials slammed the syrian regime today as tension
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between the countries reaches a new high. secretary of state hillary clinton had her strongest criticism of president assad yet. >> president assad is not indispensable and we have nothing invested in him remaining in power. our goal is to see that the will of the syrian people for a democratic transformation occurs. >> this, after protesters attacked the u.s. embassy in syria. arwa damon is in damascus and joins us with the latest. arwa, secretary of state clintden said we really have no interest in assad. we want the will of the people. today we see both. the people who are supporting assad and attacking the embassy and the demonstrators who want him out. how do we know what the real will of the people is? >> well, that's why it's always so challenging to report from a place like syria, e.d., because when we do go out into the
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streets in an official capacity, it is always in the presence of government minders. so when someone is even speaking about supporting the regime, it is tainted by the fact that the government is effectively listening. many people will say to you they know exactly what happens to those who speak out against the regime. that's what the anti-government demonstrators are saying. they are being targeted because they are voicing their opposition because they are calling for democracy. it makes it difficult to gauge what is happening. the president does still have a fair amount of support. there is still what people are calling the silent middle merchant class. the people who whether they support the president or not are still not speaking out against them. it could be because they have benefitted from his regime, it could be because they are afraid. we have at the same time been seeing the vice of the anti-government demonstratoor growing stronger.
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where they are forcing the government into talks with them. >> i want to ask you about the national dialogue. i understand there is some talk going on between the regime and some of the activists. what do you know about that? >> yeah, it's a national dialogue conference that began on sunday. it's going to continue into tomorrow. the syrian government is billing it as being the first step toward setting the country on a path of democracy. it's going to create the framework to implement all of the reforms. the conference was opened by the vice president who interestingly acknowledged that the conference was taking place in an atmosphere of suspicion. the government acknowledges there is a very serious trust deficit between the government and opposition. that being said, the majority of prominent opposition leaders boycotted and there was absolutely no representation of the street demonstrators. they're saying that they will not even begin to engage in talks with the government until their demands are met and top on
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that list is an end to the violence, and the releasing of prisoners. another thing that is interesting is for the few opposition members who did in fact attend this conference, they voiced those very same demands very publicly. the syrian government is saying the fact that this is being allowed to take place, the fact that it is intending on implementing these reforms, that it is listening to all sides is an indication that it truly wants to change. but this is an opposition that has, for decades now, been hearing all sorts of promises and pledges from this president, but also from his father before him. there is an incredible amount of skepticism. there is one thing that is going to cause the opposition to begin to believe that the government is genuine. that is when the bullets stop flying. >> listening is not the same as doing anything about the situation. arwa damon, live in damascus. thank you. coming up, sarah palin,
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in a new cover story in news week magazine, sarah palin opens up in the republican presidential field. you see why she's a riveting candidate. is palin raising her profile or
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soften up the field? matt lewis is author of "the quotable rogue." he joins us now. welcome. >> thank you. >> you write her reputation in alaska was as a nonpartisan, however, when she took on the role as vice presidential contender, she seemed to take it on with great relish. it wasn't as a nonpartisan. how did she change? >> yeah, first of all it's important to know about sarah palin. she with an 88% approval rating when she was governor of alaska. she took on the oil companies. very popular, very much a maverick, very much independent. but when you become a running mate, you have to adopt the policies of the principal and aa lot of times the running mates, in the case of sarah palin was used to jet up the conservative base. i don't think she did anything she didn't believe, but i think the perception that the american public got of her is
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unfortunately a bit skewed. they need to look back at her time as governor when they consider whether or not she could be a good president. >> when she talks, she certainly doesn't sound nonpartisan right now. she comes across as a strident conservative candidate. i was fascinated by your article in "newsweek." you give an interesting glimpse into what they're like. they're supposed to be one place and they have folks waiting overnight, they never show up because they're unconventional. a lot of people say unconventional means you aren't the type of person someone can run a campaign for. you're just not able to trust that you're going to be where you are, do what you say you're going to do. kind of a wildcard. i want to make the point, i didn't write the "newsweek" article. i wrote about it. i wrote the book recently, "the quotable rogue."
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but i thought it was a great interview. the u 2 song "she moves in mysterious ways," that's sarah palin. i believe the world has changed and sarah palin is probably perceived that way. a lot of strategists have not. we will go into iowa if she gets in the race in a very nontraditional way. she will have supporters who volunteer to give her time. it won't be one of the things where you have to get a local committee chairman, buy them off, or go to the lincoln day dinner and get them to endorse you. it will be a different kind of campaign. it's a new world, 21st century. >> she does come across as undisciplined. i understand the desire to have somebody who is not the typical politician because they drive us nuts. however she doesn't come across as a person disciplined enough to do what it takes from a party's perspective.
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if you want somebody to run, you want them to win. can she actually win an election? >> that will be the test, e.d. a lot of people would say the same thing about michele bachmann and michele bachmann has risen to the occasion. i think sarah palin can do that too. the only thing we know about her, a lot of this is based on the last year where she's used facebook and twitter and been more of a political celebrity. if you look at her campaigns where she became mayor of wasilla, if you look at her becoming governor of alaska, even the campaign with john mccain, she did a good job. the speech she gave at the convention, debate against joe biden, did very well. >> is she willing to go back to being a politician. right now, she's a celebrity. she commands over $100,000 for a speech. she's got a reality show. she's a news